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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Softball Power Rankings

Now that Pacific 10 Conference play is officially underway, the losses have begun to build for some Pac-10 teams. Not a single team completed a sweep this weekend, and the road teams took three out of the four series. The Washington Huskies were the only team to defend their home field.

Although only one team in the conference has more than eight losses all season, in the competitive Pac-10 the difference between first and last place could be just a matter of a few games. After the second weekend of conference softball, here’s how the teams stand.

1. Arizona (34-7, 5-1 Pac-10)

The Wildcats dropped their first Pac-10 games this weekend to the lowly beavers, but the fault wasn’t on the arm of pitcher Kenzie Fowler. Her counterpart Shelby Babcock picked up the two wins on the weekend, showing that she may be ready to help Fowler more as the conference season progresses. That’s a good sign for Arizona, who may finally be finding some consistency in the circle after the offseason’s biggest strength turned into the biggest question mark for the Wildcats going into conference play.

2. ASU (37-4, 4-2 Pac-10)

The Sun Devils started the weekend strong with two wins over Oregon, but faulted in Sunday’s contest, only mustering one hit off of the Duck’s Jessica Moore. The loss is the second for ASU in conference play. The Sun Devils have an impressive record so far this season, but it’s partially due to the easiness of their non-conference schedule. More losses may come as ASU hosts the defending national champions UCLA next weekend.

3. Washington (29-4, 4-2 Pac-10)

The Huskies were run-ruled on Friday before bouncing back to take the next two from California. The up-and-down weekend saw a shortened game on Friday, extra innings on Saturday and then another run-rule game on Sunday. Washington will have to find some more consistency if they hope to stay in the running for Pac-10 champions. They will start a three-game series with Arizona on Friday.

4. UCLA (28-7, 4-2 Pac-10)

The defending national champions dropped two games this weekend to a feisty Stanford team that was beaten badly last weekend by Arizona. The Bruins dropped both Saturday and Sunday’s contest after going 14 innings on Friday to win 6-5. Clearly there was some fatigue on UCLA’s side. The Bruins have to go on the road for their first Pac-10 series at ASU this weekend.

5. Oregon (30-8, 2-4 Pac-10)

The Ducks are surprising at the bottom half of the rankings with 30 wins, but that’s life in the competitive Pac-10. Oregon was able to scratch out a 2-1 victory at ASU and should be able to win at least two games when it plays in Berkeley against a .500 California team.

6. Stanford (26-8, 2-4 Pac-10)

The Cardinal was able to get back on the right track after getting swept by Arizona last weekend. Taking two games from UCLA in Westwood, Calif. will certainly boost Stanford’s confidence and resume as it looks toward the rest of Pac-10 play. The Cardinal has a game today at San Jose State that should give them a three-game winning streak before hosting Oregon State.

7. California (24-8, 2-4 Pac-10)

The Golden Bears are struggling in Pac-10 play, having won only two games so far this conference season. Like Stanford, California also has a mid-week game before hosting the Ducks. The series is part of an 11-game home stand for the Golden Bears that includes two non-conference opponents. If there was any time for Cal to turn its conference season around, this is it.  

8. Oregon State (17-13, 1-5 Pac-10)

The lowly Beavers were able to sneak a win out of Arizona during the weekend, but that’s not going to be much consolation when the season is finished. Oregon State plays the nest seven games on the road, and besides a brief mid-week meeting with North Dakota, will have to play the next three conference series on the road.

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